Where did he go?

Discussion in 'H.I. Cantina' started by Cpl Punishment, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. Cpl Punishment

    Cpl Punishment

    Jan 28, 2006
    Just spending some time in my head (never a good thing these days, it seems).

    I've been sorting through my stuff, finding things that need to be sold, and things to be thrown out.

    I came across my high school yearbook. I used to have happy memories when I looked through it before. This time, I felt nothing but regret. All the time I wasted, all the friends I could have had, as opposed to the few I did have. Looking at my classmates and wondering what became of them. Only 3 showed up for our 10 year anniversary, and none of us were in the same peer group. A real fizzle.

    Then I came across my picture. I remembered the thoughts going through my head back then, and I wondered: "Where the Hell did that guy go?" I don't know the guy in that picture now. His thoughts are alien to me. I guess like most people I had big ideas, and never imagined I'd end up like this.

    I'm thinking of throwing the thing out. There's just too much I've forgotten and don't really want to remember.

    When's the last time you guys looked at your yearbooks, or do you?
  2. Gorog


    Mar 4, 2011
    I bought yearbooks in high school exclusively so I could obsess over this girl I liked, which is not very attractive behavior on my part, but, people do stupid things when they are in love, especially when they are in love with the idea of someone. Very occasionally I look back on all the uncomfortable memories of my school days, all those awful pictures of us in our polo shirts at Newark Charter (a terrible school, by the by, the vice principal slept with two teachers, so I heard later on, never liked him, he always took his job too seriously, I mean, come on, he was policing around, scowling and yelling at little children, the brute!) But, fortunately, my vice principal of days past is neither here nor there, and never again will be. I too, am thinking highly of throwing them out. Too many memories, most of which are of all that I did wrong, all my missed chances, all my mistakes...whatever, that life is gone, and I am not digging it up just to revel in its nastiness. Onward we go. Peace everyone, I'm out.
  3. Howard Wallace

    Howard Wallace . Moderator

    Feb 23, 1999

    This train of thought can take you a long way.

    The matter that composes our bodies comes in and goes out.

    Personalities, values, modes of expression, thought patterns, all change over time.

    So you're not the guy you were in high school. How about the guy you were halfway between then and now? A year ago? A day ago? An hour ago? When you first began reading this sentence?

    Just what are you, anyway?
  4. Cpl Punishment

    Cpl Punishment

    Jan 28, 2006
    I don't think I'm the same guy I was a few months ago. After some things today, I'm not sure I'm the same guy I was yesterday. Things are changing fast right now.

    I could tell you, but then I'd get to kill you.

    I mean, have to kill you. :eek: ;)
  5. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    Cpl, this reminds me of when my 14 y.o. son told my wife, "you should see the forums that Dad goes to, they have people there with names like "Capital Punishment". ;)

    For some reason, this thread reminds me of the quote attributed to Mark Twain,
    "When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."

    Where did the ignorance go? The same place the boy in the yearbook picture went?

    Perhaps being in a similar boat in the middle of the sea, I think that we may have (figuratively) become our fathers. I get a jolt when I look back at what I was doing when my father was the age I am now. So many memories of those days, I'm still the same person and yet I'm not.

    Kinda like the question about the sailing ship that gets, say, 10 percent of its parts gradually replaced every year. After a decade or so, with no original parts remaining, is it the same ship?

    IMHO, I'd keep the yearbook. Helps keep that boy alive, somewhere. The person you become a couple decades from now might like to visit him.
  6. Esav Benyamin

    Esav Benyamin MidniteSuperMod

    Apr 6, 2000
    I never bothered getting a yearbook. Too much like all the social events I never went to, either. :)
    I was more interested in tomorrow than yesterday. I studied so much history I knew it was no fun.
  7. Esav Benyamin

    Esav Benyamin MidniteSuperMod

    Apr 6, 2000
    This is the axe my grandfather made.
    My father replaced the handle,
    and I replaced the blade.
  8. Cpl Punishment

    Cpl Punishment

    Jan 28, 2006
    My parents actually bought it, I wasn't going to.
  9. Howard Wallace

    Howard Wallace . Moderator

    Feb 23, 1999
    That guy ??? He's already gone ...
  10. Shann


    Sep 2, 2004
    I bought one every year. I think that I still have my senior year one floating about somewhere. If I come across it I will look at it again. We were all so young and had such big plans. Now most if not all of us are dealing with the "melancholy management of diminished expectations".
  11. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    I know what you mean, Cpt. I bought a yearbook every year. I have no idea where they are. I think they might be in my mom's attic.

    I haven't looked back and I don't regret it. Even though I live in the same area I was born and raise, I have not "made it big", and I'm not OPPOSED to seeing people from my high school years...I just don't have any desire to do so. I have remained in constant contact with the people I wish to. My best buddy and I go back to Jr. High. We talk several times a week. When he and his clan make it down from Detroit to visit family, my wife, daughter, and I make it over to his folks house because WE are family.

    My 10 year high school reunion was in the summer of '09. My wife and I actually missed the gathering as we were just getting back from a cruise. However, we did meet up at the little after party. I thought to myself, "who are these people?". Old friends wearing scars and masks of life. Women with widened hips of multiple motherhood, men with faces and hairlines of a life not going exactly as planned. Happy people. Content people. People like myself, in a way. 28 years old and beginning to settle into the hand fate had dealt them. It wasn't sad at all. It was simply surreal. I'm glad I only have a mental image of these people. I don't think I would like to look back on the actual frozen moments of my time in southern indiana in the mid-late 90's.

    I shook these people's hands. I smiled and pretended to know a few of them (poor souls late to our high school career, and we could not even be bothered to imprint them on our minds. Unless they tried to burn down the school, they would forever be shadows at best). I talked sports with a few of the guys. I got a couple of overly long hugs from some of the ladies (maybe there is a story there, but I'll never care to know it). My best friend was there, and we found ourselves creeping off to the bar. "Rekindling" with these people was about as comfortable as trying to remember the name of wife's aunt as she talked to me at the last Christmas gathering (I should KNOW this person, but I can't place them). It was a memorable night, but we ended up at my friend's in-laws house talking and sipping a couple beers just as we always did when they came home for a visit. The ghosts of high school past were simply a precursor to the actual festivities I was looking forward to.

    I am a different person today that I was 12 years ago. I'm glad for that. I refuse to let the peak of my life be when I was a stupid 18 year old kid who though he knew everything. I'm a different person totally today than I was 9 months ago when I had my daughter. I was different before that when I found out I was going to be a dad. I changed the day my father in law died. I was transformed when my wife locked eyes with me and said "I do".

    A life well lived SHOULD be in flux. It doesn't have to be a radical spin cycle. It doesn't have to throw you off your feet every other day. You don't have to end your days on a private island to have lived a good life. However, it is the static and the mundane that causes the "if only..."s and "I wish I'd..."s to creep into our brain like a cancer. They cloud our present and tarnish the perception of our future.
  12. Yahmanin


    Sep 29, 2003
    That might be one of the best of three reasons to keep it. Parents keep a much clearer memory, and in ways relationship with, their 18 year olds as they were than the once 18 year olds do. My boy (Man? No, couldn't be, not yet, even if I was sure I was even younger) is 18 now, and it amazes/awes/fills me with pride,and scares hell out of me all at the same time, and helps explain why my folks still react to me as if I was still the really, really stupid kid they remember (and for some reason loved)

    You might also wind up with an 18 year old who wants know a little more about his dad, what he looked like way back when. No way! That's you!?!? What does this inscription mean? (I advise you make up stuff in advance on that last..) I know I got a kick out of my folks year books, I still remember the freind of theirs that wanted to be a computer punch card sorter/tech, and any pic of my dad with hair is positively surreal.

    Third reason is you. You won't be able to un-throw it away, and who you are in 10'20'30/etc years might be a lot more interested in that book that the you you are now.

    ftiw, I sincerely hope I don't put my foot in it in or make any discomfiting assumptions re present, past or potential audiences of the book in question. The above was all offered in kindness, and came from something in your post that resonated in me. I've been on weird and shifting ground myself for a while now.
  13. Cpl Punishment

    Cpl Punishment

    Jan 28, 2006
    No problem, man.

    No offense taken.
  14. Andrew Colglazier

    Andrew Colglazier

    Sep 14, 2006
    I will mean more to your children than it does to you.

  15. hoopster


    Jan 12, 2007
    I wouldn't throw it out but I probably haven't opened mine in over a decade. Our 10 year reunion was a blast, I was engaged at the time, most folks were married with children. The class valedictorian got drunk and embarrassed her husband by getting on stage towards the end and dancing/singing every line to Sir Mix a Lots "I like big butts". Our 20 year should be in 2012 and I doubt we'll even have one.

    Anyways, I digress, try not to look back and feel sentimental or have regrets because there's nothing you can do to change the past. Only use it as a lesson for the present and the future. Love it or hate it, the past is gone.
  16. DannyinJapan


    Oct 9, 2003
    I burned my yearbook on graduation day. That guy didn't go anywhere..

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